Sunset, SC – Inspiring the American Dream Foundation today announced the launch of its new Opportunity to Succeed program. Financed through a grant provided by Dabo’s All In Team Foundation®, the program is being piloted at A.R. Lewis Elementary School in Pickens, South Carolina, as an After-School Reading Camp for 3rd grade students.
Central to the program is a new and innovative curriculum that has been designed to inspire and challenge students to become proficient readers, while exploring their American Dream. The program highlights specific character traits, such as perseverance and self-control, which will help prepare the students to achieve their goals in and out of the classroom.
Reading materials will focus on American historical figures that relied on these traits to achieve their dreams. Students will be encouraged to make connections between the featured characters’ traits and their own personal behaviors, and to apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations; enabling them to realize the vision that the American Dream is achievable.
“Developing student reading skills is an integral step to achieving success in life, said Kathleen Swinney, Co-founder, Dabo’s All In Team Foundation. “We are so proud of our partnership with Inspiring the American Dream Foundation and the work they are doing so close to home with A.R. Lewis Elementary.”
Officially launched on February 2nd, the Opportunity to Succeed program has several components:
- community/team building
- enriching literature
- student-student and group discussions
- American Dream projects
- celebration events to highlight achievement
Each student will determine the communications medium for his or her American Dream project. The projects will reflect on the students’ reading and comprehension of the materials and his or her own journey toward the American Dream. All projects will be student driven, and will be presented in various media forms, including essays, poems, drawings, plays, videos, or PowerPoint presentations.
American Dream projects will be showcased at the school and during a subsequent field trip to Inspiring the American Dream Foundation’s upcoming Inspire the Dream Career Fair. The event will be held on May 19th at the Embassy Suites in Greenville, South Carolina. There, A.R. Lewis third graders will be recognized at an awards ceremony for their successful completion of the reading camp. Local celebrities, Kylie Odetta, Dale Gilbert and Sam Wyche, will also be on hand to inspire and motivate the students and their parents.
“The idea behind this program is to help build reading skills that will enable these students become life-long readers, said Melissa Brown, Inspiring the American Dream Foundation volunteer and curriculum architect. “Young children often struggle with reading and tend to give up quickly. This program teaches skills through fun activities and student empowerment, and highlights the understanding that perseverance and sticking-with-it is part of achieving success. Perseverance, as we all know, is essential for success in life – a key ideal the Foundation wants to impress upon students.”
“We are excited to embark on this journey with Inspiring the American Dream Foundation, said Melissa Terry, Principal at A.R. Lewis Elementary School. “Our hope is for a successful program that will allow students to build confidence and self-assurance as readers and to improve their ability to read.”
About Inspiring the American Dream Foundation
Inspiring the American Dream Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, has been established to help inspire children and young adults to achieve the American Dream, a set of ideals in which freedom, ability and virtue provide the opportunity for prosperity, happiness and upward mobility, regardless of race, ethnicity or social class. By engaging children of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds with an appreciation for the ideals, values and virtues inherent in the American Dream, the Foundation will help prepare students across the country to become independent, prosperous and productive members of society.
About the Albert R. Lewis Elementary School
Albert R. Lewis Elementary School is a Title 1 school located in rural Pickens, South Carolina. The school’s leadership strives to provide its students the opportunity to become proficient readers, critical thinkers, and problem solvers, enabling them to be successful beyond the classroom and participate in a global community. For more information visit, http://arl.pickens.k12.sc.us/
SDPC Public Information Specialist
School District of Pickens County
Phone: (864) 397-1045
Co-Founder and Chairman
Inspiring the American Dream Foundation
Phone: (864) 868-0202